Low carbon at low cost

What are Active Buildings?

SPECIFIC’s Active Buildings integrate solar technology into one system, to generate, store and release their own energy – both heat and electricity.

Why is this important?

Active Buildings have the potential to address one of the biggest challenges facing the UK and the world: a low carbon, affordable and secure energy supply.

Low Carbon

  • Buildings are solar-powered
  • Eliminates carbon emissions in building use
  • Creates demand-side reductions


Security of supply

  • Stable, localised energy supply: generation at the point of use
  • No gas for heating
  • Reduces reliance on fossil fuels
  • Provide grid balancing services

SPECIFIC’s approach

SPECIFIC’s aim is to close the gap between technology research and commercialisation.


Working with more than 50 partners from academia, industry and government, our network creates integrated systems and solutions for many types of buildings, both new and retrofit. We are also working to enable change that is needed to create a new industry, jobs and growth.

Concept to Commercialisation

Our unique and growing network of leading universities and companies – from multi-national corporations to innovative SMEs – is working together to scale-up technologies, develop supply chains and identify routes to market.

Within the centre and in our network, our unique mix of people comprises researchers, engineers, business development, engagement, IP and commercialisation professionals as well as architects and construction specialists.

Technology Scale-up

SPECIFIC brings together world class expertise in a range of fields including photovoltaics, solar thermal, functional coatings as well as heat and electrical storage.

Four integrated facilities deliver lab to line capability – including new state-of-the-art laboratory facilities at Swansea University, pilot manufacturing lines delivering building-scale products, and full-scale technology demonstrator buildings.


Led by:


Strategic Partners:

In total, SPECIFIC has more than 50 partners from academia, industry, and Government. These partners work collaboratively at all levels to develop new technologies, bring them to commercial reality, and create the environment for change.

Want to be part of it?


SPECIFIC was one of seven Innovation and Knowledge Centres set up to foster new industries by closing the gap between scientific research and its commercial exploitation. It was set up in 2011 with a five-year £20m commitment from EPSRC, Innovate UK and the Welsh Government together with investment from Swansea University and strategic industrial partners.

In April 2016, SPECIFIC began phase two of the project with £26m funding from EPSRC, Innovate UK and the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government, as well as further investment from Swansea University, the industrial partners and matched funding from Cardiff University.

Board Members

Management Team